So after some hemming and hawing, some “let’s live with it for a while before making a decision,” we decided that the table doesn’t work for regular life. The longer we’ve done the “wait and see,” the less we even use it to the point where we avoid it. So we decided to store it in the garage year round, the way we do in winter, with the legs off. It really is so perfect for group meals outside and I still really like using it on those occassions, so I don’t want to get rid of it completely. But for regular life, we have a new, much smaller, patio table.
It’s the Sundero table from IKEA. It seats 4 comfortably with 4 of our existing armchairs and we’ll store the 2 extra armchairs in the garage with the big table. It’s solid wood and very sturdy. The gray finish doesn’t match the existing set of course, but we’re planning on staining it dark to match with our outdoor furniture/fence/deck stain. IKEA states on their website that their existing outdoor finish only lasts a year anyways.
The best part is that we now have SO much more room on the patio under the pergola! We can easily move the table around too, so we can push it to the side when we want more play space and pull it out when we want to sit. It’s small enough that it can be moved easily by one person, unlike the big table that refused to be dragged across the cobblestones and required two people at all times.
We also have a new covered hose reel. The other one was fine, but hoses aren’t exactly pretty and it’s nice to have it covered up and hidden. Plus this one has autowind and was (most importantly!) a free hand-me-down.